Gosport Hospital Deaths: More Than 450 Patients Died Due To Opioid Drugs

The Gosport War Memorial Hospital is the site of many suspicious deaths

The Gosport War Memorial Hospital is the site of many suspicious deaths

An investigation has found that more than 450 patients died after powerful painkillers were administered without medical justification at Gosport War Memorial Hospital in the UK.

A long-awaited report into the deaths of hundreds of elderly people at a hospital is due to be published this morning.

The Daily Mirror reports that health chiefs repeatedly ignored warnings that patients were dying of drug overdoses, while relatives were "brushed off" if they complained about opioids being given on wards.

As many as 200 further patients may have died as a result of staff "administering opioids without medical justification", but records could not be found in those cases, the report added.

The panel revealed "there was a disregard for human life and a culture of shortening lives of a large number of patients" at Gosport War Memorial Hospital.

It has been led by the former bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev James Jones, who previously chaired the Hillsborough Independent Panel.

"None of the nurses who gave evidence were critical of my care of the patients in this inquiry". The records show that the nurses did not discharge that responsibility and continued to administer the drugs prescribed.

The documents also demonstrate the suboptimal care and lack of diligence by nursing staff in executing their professional accountability for the care delivered.

An earlier review, commissioned by the Department of Health and conducted by Professor Richard Baker in 2003, concluded that the hospital's regime had "almost certainly shortened the lives of some".

Dr Barton has been the only doctor to face disciplinary action following the deaths of 12 patients under her care, when she was found guilty of "multiple instances of serious professional misconduct" in 2010. She described as "brusque, unfriendly and indifferent" by some relatives, according to the report.

When she was brought before the General Medical Council over her role in the scandal, she claimed her long working hours and the intense pressure of the job had impacted on her performance.

Dr Jane Barton was educated at Oxford University, graduating with a degree in medicine in 1972.

The deaths have already led to four police and Crown Prosecution Service probes, a NHS investigation, a General Medical Council hearing and a special "death audit".

There was an institutionalised regime of prescribing and administering "dangerous doses" of a hazardous combination of medication not clinically indicated or justified, with patients and relatives powerless in their relationship with professional staff.

There was an "institutionalised regime of prescribing and administering risky doses of a hazardous combination of medication not clinically indicated or justified, with patients and relatives powerless in their relationship with professional staff", the Gosport Independent Panel investigation found.

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